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Old 03-01-2019, 11:55 AM   #1
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Frozen black tank

I've been camping most of my life,and I bought my first camper 30 yrs ago. I don't normally close my tank valves unless I'm going to move it,normally it sits on a permanent location. I had just heard from other campers (some newbies) that those valves,grey,gally and black, should be closed until half full then opened. Hence this new knowledge, my son in laws 5er has frozen up and is in a pickle until the thaw. I just would like confirmation about the valves or at least what other people do.
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:01 PM   #2
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I leave my gray tank open when I'm at full hookup until the day before we leave. Black tank stays closed unless I need to dump it. Otherwise you will have a poop pyramid in the tank.
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:05 PM   #3
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Tank valves ALWAYS closed until 3/4 full (or full) and then dump.

If you have been sitting in a permanent location with the black valve open, the liquids have all run out the sewer connection leaving the solids in your tank.

I suspect you have more than the dreaded poo pyramid in your tank.

Some folks will let the GREY tank(s) valve open and this is not nearly as detrimental to the tank but it does allow sewer gasses to filter into the tank and possiblly into the R/V if the P-traps are dry or out the roof vent making the area stink.

If in freezing conditions, tank heaters or some R/V antifreeze in the tank(s) will eliminate a frozen tank. R/V antifreeze is cheap!
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Duck8792 View Post
I've been camping most of my life,and I bought my first camper 30 yrs ago. I don't normally close my tank valves unless I'm going to move it,normally it sits on a permanent location. I had just heard from other campers (some newbies) that those valves,grey,gally and black, should be closed until half full then opened. Hence this new knowledge, my son in laws 5er has frozen up and is in a pickle until the thaw. I just would like confirmation about the valves or at least what other people do.
Doesn't have to wait for the thaw unless he wants to. Rent a "Torpedo Heater" and blow the warm air from it under the trailer. Put a couple sheets of plywood around the perimeter to hold the heat under the trailer. Just make sure to set the heater a bit away from the trailer itself so the air going underneath is somewhat tempered as those heaters can put out some seriously hot air.

Then it's just a matter of being patient. Might take a tank or two of kerosene to thaw the black tank if it's full. If not full the process could be sped up by pouring hot water into the tank until full. And that heat, along with the heater, will create it's own "spring".
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:56 PM   #5
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"Torpedo Heater" .

called a Salamander, used in construction a lot and on the sidelines of football games, serious heat.
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:07 PM   #6
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Tank valves ALWAYS closed until 3/4 full (or full) and then dump.


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Old 03-01-2019, 02:43 PM   #7
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called a Salamander, used in construction a lot and on the sidelines of football games, serious heat.
Either is correct, we all know what everyone is talking about. the propane versions will work just as well if you have one.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:41 PM   #8
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Valves closed until at least half full. I don't open the black tank valve until its nearly full.
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